Tag Archives: Bulldog NE

LOST 8.15K {Food & Fitness Link-Up}

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One of my favorite college professors once told our class that you can never do something again. You can do something similar; but you can never do it again. I believe, at the time, he was speaking of travel. But it can apply to pretty much any experience in life.

When Rob told me that he wanted to walk around the St. Anthony Main area of NE Minneapolis again, I was looking for it to it. Our walks exploring the city are my favorite dates with my husband. And since Joe created four more stations to the Get LOST in Running Virtual Race Series, my plan was to do the Looking Glass Station 8.15k.

But first, let’s see how I did with last week’s Food & Fitness Planning:

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Last Week’s Food:

  • Dinners
    • Monday – Spicy Thai Basil Beef
      • I used Coconut Aminos in place of the fish sauce and onions in place of the bell peppers. It could have used a bit more spice. That’s a note to self for next time.
      • It was good, but not overly-the-top awesome. Maybe if I would have SEASONED IT ALREADY! 😉
      • Then I read Kat’s tip to always double the sauce, when she made a different Thai Beef with Basil Recipe. I may have to take that advice.
    • Tuesday – Pork Chops this way – most likely with green beans on the side.
      • We skipped this and ate leftover still hanging out from last week instead.
    •  Wednesday – Meatballs with Tomato Sauce –  Just like we made in class the week before! A Keeper!
    • Thursday – TBDTurkey and Black Bean Cabbage Bowl with Avocado Salsa <-–An awesome, must-try! 
      • I made it when I had the girls over for dinner.
      • I’m going to make a Rob-friendly version this week!
    • Friday – Dinner night out with the girls – Restaurant Impression coming this week!
    • Saturday – Leftovers for Lunch, out for dinner – LOST 8.15k (see below!)
    • Sunday – Leftovers
  • Breakfasts
    • Egg Rolls – <– You must make these!
      • They aren’t what you think. It’s an egg rolled up in a tortilla.
      • I used some leftover enchilada sauce instead of the sriracha.
      • These are perfect when you have leftover tortillas to use up!
    • Magic Smoothies
    • PB on toast
  • Lunches
    • Leftovers + 1 piece Dove Dark Chocolate + applesauce or Chobani yogurt

It was certainly a most successful cooking week!

Last Week’s Fitness:

  • Monday – Walk/Run on Treadmill – 26 minutes
  • Tuesday – Walk/Run on Treadmill – 35 minutes
  • Wednesday – Walk/Run on Treadmill – 45 minutes
  • Thursday – Elliptical in am or REST
  • Friday – REST
  • Saturday – Walk – LOST 8.15k walk
  • Sunday – PilatesRaked the yard – 1.5 hours 
  • 30-day Arm ChallengeOkay, I keep forgetting about this. I need to post it somewhere where I don’t forget after I’m done doing cardio. I’ve only done 3 days so far. I want to start over so I can do these always according to the plan.

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After we had so much fun getting LOST in NE Minneapolis earlier this summer, Rob wanted to go again. It wasn’t the same, but it was absolutely wonderful to be walking around in the cool, fresh, fall air! We finished the LOST Looking Glass Station 8.15k, but without a care for time. As I brought running back into my fitness routine, my back started to hurt again. I decided to back off. I’ll be sticking to walking for a while.

103Instead, we took the opportunity to stop and smell the roses enjoy the views and take photos. It was a brisk, but gorgeous day. I was in an incredibly good mood! I skipped ahead, climbed up on benches and tree stumps and took photos of the beautiful fall colors.

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We crossed the Stone Arch Bridge and happened upon the Mill City Farmers Market just as they were closing up.

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We walked St. Anthony Main and then followed the lower trail just like we did the last time, climbing, hiking and avoiding obstacles. However, unlike last time, Rob didn’t find any Liberty Nickles…

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We really do enjoy living so close to Minneapolis… and feeling like you can still enjoy nature on such an Urban Walk.

077But there was something strange I found as we rounded a block to make our way to the Bulldog NE for lunch:

101Would you discard your broken heels in the middle of the sidewalk?

The Bulldog NE was packed for the U of Minnesota Gopher football game, but we managed to find a seat at the bar. We split a lunch of some sliders and truffle tots. And I tried a new-to-me beer – a DOUBLE Black Ale, made by a local brewing company, Indeed. We just had to look it up online at Beer Advocate to learn more about it!

It was another great walking date day with my husband. It was truly a similar event to last time, but it definitely wasn’t the same. But I still loved every moment of it.

Now for this week…

Food:

  • Dinners
    • Monday – Mexican Cabbage BowlIt’s what I made last week for the girls, just with beef to make it Rob-friendly. I’ll skip the avocado salsa, too.
    • Tuesday – Pork Chops this way – with either green beans or this Cabbage with Braised Onions dish on the side
    •  Wednesday –  Cinnamon Beef Stew from Well Fed
    • Thursday – Leftovers
    • Friday – Poker Night
    • Saturday – Leftovers for lunch, dinner out
    • Sunday – Leftovers for lunch, dinner out
  • Breakfasts
  • Lunches
    • Leftovers or soup + 1 piece Dove Dark Chocolate + applesauce or Chobani yogurt

Fitness:

  • Monday – Walk on Treadmill 
  • Tuesday – Walk on Treadmill 
  • Wednesday – Walk on Treadmill
  • Thursday – Walk on Treadmill
  • Friday – REST
  • Saturday – Go for another Walk? (Weather permitting.)
  • Sunday – Walk on Treadmill
  • 30-day Arm Challenge – I really want to do this. I just keep forgetting. I need to put the schedule by the treadmill instead of on my bedroom mirror.

I never thought going on a walk with my husband would be my favorite sort of date, but I’m so glad that this year, I discovered that it is.

What is your idea of an ideal date?

Cheers~
Carrie

Best Twin Cities Restaurants to Take Out-of-Town Guests

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This post was inspired by a friend who has family in town this weekend. She wanted ideas for where to take them. And while she came up with her own answer, it did get us to thinking where we’ve taken our out-of-town guests.

I feel a little guilty writing this one.

Why? Because I know that there will be some opinions out there. I may sound like I’m dogging some Mpls-St. Paul institutions. Let’s just say that these are not necessarily the best restaurants in the Twin Cities to take your out-of-town guests. Of course, that all depends on you and your guests. Your tastes might be completely different from ours.

So, instead, let’s label this list as our favorite places to take guests who come in from out of town. We want them to experience restaurants that we not only love, but that are also either unique, capture a piece of Minnesota or offer a bit of fun. They are listed in no particular order. At the time of this writing, Restaurant Impressions might not be written on all restaurants listed yet. But you can always hop over there to check!

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Cossetta’s – St. Paul

I have to admit that Rob has never been to Cossetta’s {the original eatery} and I haven’t eaten there in years. However, after a trip to the newly renovated/expanded Alimentari, including the eatery/pizzeria, Pasticceria, Italian grocery and restaurant with my parents this past May, it’s worth a trip… if only for the pastry/gelato/supermarket experience. Most would notice how grand the paticceria and rest of the building looks. But instead, my dad noticed what kind of light bulbs were used. He’s cute like that.

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Buffalo Tap – Savage

Forget Matt’s.

Forget the 5-8 Club.

Get your Juicy Lucy here – the Parmesan Patty Melt to be exact. Matt’s Lucy is a good dive bar burger that is worth trying, but our burgers at the 5-8 Club were absolutely horrible. On the other hand, the Parmesan Patty Melt Juicy Lucy at the Buffalo Tap is heaven. For those of you who don’t know what a Juicy Lucy is, think of an inside-out burger. It’s one with the yummy, gooey cheese right in the middle. This one is served on Parmesan Encrusted Bread. Need I say more? You just need a little patience because you don’t want to bite into it right away, that cheese will squirt out and burn you. Give it some time to set. Then cut it in half. Drag the chips through any melty cheese that oozes out.

This photo doesn't do this perfect Juicy Lucy justice!

This photo doesn’t do this perfect Juicy Lucy justice!

If that’s not enough of a reason, the bar has a rustic, Minnesota northwoods cabin feel that makes the perfect setting for out-of-town guests. The menu is large with something for everyone. They also serve buffalo, hence the name. And fried cheese curds. As a cheesehead myself, I like to show guests from back home where I watch Packer games when they aren’t on regular TV here in Viking Country. Yep, it’s right here at “The Tap.”

A plus: There are some excellent beers on tap!
A minus: Said beers are often way overpriced.
A plus: You can still get a bottle of Mondavi Cab for $11.95. Not kidding. As my husband would say, “Cheap at the price.”
A plus: They make some of the best Bloody Marys – perfect for game day.

Three pluses over one minus? We’ll take it.

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The Happy Gnome – St. Paul

This is an easy pick for your guests who may have an affinity for beer like we do. Rob stole my brother away on one visit, leaving his other half behind with the kids. They sipped fresh brews and devoured poutine. Oh yeah, this was all just a few days after my back surgery. Maybe he needed to get out, too. 😉

If you’ve had a late night, I’d say get the delectable breakfast sammy the next morning. Best in the Twin Cities! But the folks at this gourmet gastropub change the menu often, so who knows if it’ll be available when you read this. No matter what you order, you should always wash it down with a beer or two that you’ve never had and perhaps may never have again.

Jared's Beer Flight

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Forepaugh’s – St. Paul

Rob likes to describe this experience as “taking someone to your rich uncle’s house.Forepaugh’s is housed in a 19th century Victorian Mansion. You can make it an expensive, fancy evening out, if you’d like. {A lot of special occasion events are held here.} Or you can do what we do: Drop by during happy hour in the bar area and let Joey or Victor wait on you. The bar menu is less expensive and quite good. In fact, we voted them as having best “Toast” in the Twin Cities. You’ll just need to go to find out what that means. And The Double Double Bacon Cheeseburger is on Rob’s Top 10 list. Furthermore, the Deconstructed Banana Cream Pie is a dessert for which you’ll return. It’s an impressive place. Have your guests take a walk around the mansion and check out all levels. Ask the staff about the ghosts.

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Sul Lago – Prior Lake

Perron’s Sul Lago is a no brainer for us, being one of our favorite restaurants and all. Forget Manny’s. Forget Murray’s. {And, yes, we’ve had both.} If you want a steak, come here instead. That being said, let me preface that statement with this: I like filet mignons. The best I’ve ever had in Minnesota is here. My mom said it was the best steak of her life. But I tried a friend’s sirloin and wasn’t as pleased. Maybe that’s because I know how much more I love the filet. Still, the steak sandwich gives Murray’s a run for its money.

It’s a place where the service is great because they leave you alone to linger for hours if you wish, just like they would in Italy. Rob’s favorite pasta – the Sausage and White Truffle Oil – is back on the menu! The food is fantastic, as is the ambiance. And, you’ll find our favorite Bartender, Billy, there, too. He makes the best French Pear.

French Pear Martini: Elderflower liqueur, pear vodka, sparkling wine, lime juice

French Pear Martini: Elderflower liqueur, pear vodka, sparkling wine, lime juice

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Nicollet Mall – Minneapolis

While this technically isn’t a restaurant, it’s a great area in downtown Minneapolis where you can stroll and hop from place to place to try a little bits of what Minneapolis has to offer. We recommend going on a Saturday afternoon when it’s not crazy-busy. Just be sure that there isn’t a Twins game or a big event when you go or that whole lazy-Saturday-afternoon plan will be blown out of the water. We do this because we aim to get a seat for our guests.

Our favorite stops? The Local Irish Pub (duh!), the News Room (especially for the brie cheese curds), Devil’s Advocate (tap beer selection) and Brit’s Pub (rooftop lawn bowling). My husband also found this great map of the Mall and printed out menus for each location for his parents when they were in town. In the evening, The Dakota Jazz Club is recommended for something swanky. We often pop in when they open for a cocktail and some frites before venturing somewhere else down The Mall. Other evening faves include Vincent (French) and Zelo (Italian).

BRIE CURDS DEEP FRIED BRIE, HOMEMADE BLUEBERRY KETCHUP 11.95

Brie Curds – The News Room

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So those are our current picks. And after yesterday’s post, I realize that I should be taking peeps to The Bulldog NE more often. I think we’ve only done that once. Whether they are beer and burger lovers or just like sweets, I’m sure they’ll love it as much as we do.

What are your favorite places to take out-of-town guests where you live?

Cheers~
Carrie

The Bulldog Northeast

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Who knew that I could get the best burger, the best cupcakes and an excellent tap beer selection all under one roof?

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As many times as we’d been to Northeast Minneapolis with Groupons to Butcher Block, a couple trips to Nye’s Polonaise Room, a pint or two of cider at Keegan’s and even a food tour of the area, we never stopped to check out the Bulldog NE.

I did step inside the joint once, just to get some change for the parking meter out front. I remember it being very busy and thought of it as nothing more than a college sports bar, despite the fact that I don’t even think there is a college in walking distance of the place.

Then a friend recommended it. We were surprised. Rumor had it that the tap selection was good if we liked beer. And guess what? We do. So we decided to check it out.

Now it’s one of our favorite places to go in the Twin Cities.

While this is the Bulldog in Northeast Minneapolis, a mural of Amsterdam {where the original is located} is proudly displayed. It’s large enough that, if I zoomed in, it could have appeared that this person was sitting right inside the window of a café on the streets of Amsterdam along a canal.

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There are a few “Bulldog” restaurants throughout the Twin Cities; however, my understanding is that they are no longer owned by the same entities and thus are not affiliated at all. Tap selection styles and menus are different. {Although, I will say that I had some satisfying food at the St. Paul location. But that’s for another post.}

I find the menu here at the Bulldog NE to be, well, gourmet. Well, maybe pub food, even sports-bar food gone gourmet. The burger here makes Rob’s Top 10 Burgers in the Twin Cities list. The burger apparently made the City Pages‘ Top 10 Burgers list as well.

NE5Nearly every time we’ve ordered a burger here, the lighting has been too dimly lit to do it justice. But when we finally captured the shot, it still doesn’t scream how nearly perfect this burger is. Top it off with some truffle tots on the side and you’ve got yourself a gourmet meal in a basket:

Truffle Burger - topped with brie and truffle oil on an English muffin with Parmesan truffle tater tots

Truffle Burger – topped with brie and truffle oil on an English muffin with Parmesan Truffle Tater Tots

Of course, as suggested by our friend, the tap selection is fantastic, focusing on Belgians. You can read all about them in their menu book.

Still, there’s a lot of variety, including local brews, with several taps with rotating offerings to change it up for you.

And even though Rob’s least favorite style of beer is probably Belgian, he has found one he adores!

(For the record, I love it, too!)

Kasteel Rouge

Kasteel Rouge

They also offer firkins, which are often limited release, specialty beers. We almost always try the firkin, even if it sounds strange. We’ve found that it’s usually the strange ones we love {Green Tea!} more than the ones we think we’ll love {pomegranate ale}.

And who doesn’t love a patio that allows dogs?

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Your pooch will get a water bowl and some treats to snack on while you linger…

Not only have we been to the Bulldog NE for dinner, but we’ve also shown up during brunch and lunch on the weekend.

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This basic Bloody Mary was okay, but it was nice to have a decent beer chaser!

I found the Chicken and Waffles to be too rich for my blood on one occasion, but I had a fantastic breakfast sandwich and salad after our LOST Station 4 – Flame 16k virtual race.

 Ham and Egg Sandwich Alemar's Camembert style cheese, Canadian bacon, Egg and Gruyére mornay on croissant bun. $12.00

Ham and Egg Sandwich – Alemar’s Camembert style cheese, Canadian bacon, egg and Gruyére mornay on a croissant bun

It was completely satisfying, but not as wonderful and perfect as the breakfast sandwich at The Happy Gnome. But you can’t beat the beer selection there either.

But lastly, would you expect the best cupcakes to be served at a place that serves beer and killer burgers? Not me. On a whim, on one visit, I inquired what the Cupcake of the Day was. It was called the Elvis – something with chocolate and bananas.

It was one of the best cupcakes I could ever remember.

I’ve since tried several unique flavors. I mean the Lemon Lavender Blueberry Cupcake? Come On! Crazy good. The cupcakes are almost always filled. And the frosting is perfect – never overly sweet and gritty, but more creamy and luscious.

I would say that they have the best cupcakes in all of the Twin Cities, but it wouldn’t be fair because I haven’t been to any cupcake shops nor have I ordered them at any bakeries in the area. I don’t care, though. I rarely eat cupcakes and if I’m going to have one, I want to have one I know I’ll love. So it’ll be at the Bulldog NE.

Tell me about the best Beer, Burger or Cupcake you’ve ever had…

Cheers~
Carrie